Government has secured about 50 million litres of diesel from PetroSA for Eskom. The power utility admitted that it had spent all of its budget meant to buy diesel for the current financial year ending March 2023.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament that he had urgent engagements with the Minister of Finance and PetroSA leadership as part of finding an interim solution.
“Eskom warned about a shortage of diesel and said South Africans should expect more load shedding in the coming months as it embarks on major repairs and capital investment projects that will increase the risk of outages. Gordhan says he had to approach Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and PetroSA leadership on the way forward.”
“Fifty million of diesel have been found and have been provided by PetroSA , some of them, some of those litres, travelled by pipeline, some by trucks depending on which city they are due for. And we will discuss further both with the Minister of Minerals and Energy and the Minister of Finance how the next consignment can be made available.”
Gordhan says there are plans in place to get the much-needed funding. He says various options have been identified.
“A number of options have been identified. Those options are currently being evaluated by the Treasury team and we expect a response soon in respect of the particular option or set of options that the Finance Minister thinks we should peruse.”
Corruption at Eskom under the previous leadership according to Gordhan is the main cause for the mayhem.
“Clearly the unreliability of our generation front is hampering efforts to provide greater stability and certainty to the country. The inadequacy of maintenance, the corruption as I said in coal, in fuel oil amongst other things and more breakdowns in the manner the diesel has to be utilised. It is in that context that Eskom has run out of cash that it has budgeted for which is some ten billion rand for this year. But by the 17th of November it has reached R14.4 billion.”
The Eskom board is engaging managers on their plans to alleviate load shedding.
“The board has been occupied with meeting with power station managers to discuss the particular target in terms of load shedding until there is enough megawatts in our system by next year and the year that will follow. We will get some definitiveness about the step that the board is suggesting in relation by stabilising generation by next week.”
Gordhan says government plans to get Eskom out of its electricity crisis within the next 18 months.
“Our plan is that within the next 18 months or so-we must get out of this crisis. That is very clear. The President on the 25th of July said it very clearly that there is a five-part plan that he has instructed all of us to work towards. Firstly, that we want to improve the performance of Eskom’s existing fleet as addressed already I have indicated that the board, the new board of Eskom, has announced to look at this matter. And this is absolutely no doubt that something needs to change on the generation side of Eskom.”
PetroSA to assist Eskom with diesel